CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) was unable to attend this year’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, but he was still able to make an appearance in a video greeting for his GOP colleagues.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Kirk, who is still recovering from a massive stroke he suffered in January, has been very much on the minds of the Illinois delegation.

He’s been an energetic presence for the party in the past, so he sent a video message to the Illinois delegates at their morning breakfast, thanking them for participating in the convention.

“Let me just say, I really wish I could be with you today. This is an exciting moment which you’re – as an Illinois Republican – participating in history,” Kirk said. “This has got to be one of the most important elections that we’ve ever had – to return responsible, fiscally-conservative leadership to Washington.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

In a minute-long edited talk, Kirk called on the state’s Republican delegates to help elect Mitt Romney president, and to help GOP candidates win their races in Illinois. Delegates stood and cheered as the video played.

“I want to thank everybody for coming to Tampa, to make sure that you’re part of an exciting process of choosing a new president – which our country absolutely needs. We need Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, and their brand of fiscal conservatism,” Kirk said. “I want you all to remember especially our congressional candidates. The team that we have fielded has switched the Illinois delegation from being majority Democrat to majority Republican.”

That might have been a high point for the delegates. Their breakfast was earlier interrupted by protesters, who took the stage at the reception, tried to grab the microphone, and shouted at delegates, chanting for a higher minimum wage.

Police and hotel security escorted the protesters from the room.

When the Illinois delegates later headed to the convention floor, their buses were an hour late.